Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sabres 3rd Debuts Tonight

The Buffalo Sabres will debut their new third jerseys tonight at home versus the Bruins. Watch for them, they look damn nice in person.


Friday, November 21, 2008




THE LINK TO THE NEW SITE IS: note the .com!










First of all sorry about all the template changes today Hockeybums has decided they want a new look. I have decided to switch back to original template for the time being as our NEW WEBSITE IS BEING CREATED. I HOPED IT WOULD BE DONE BY THE END OF TODAY HOWEVER I THINK IT MAY BE TO MUCH. SO HOPEFULLY BY END OF TOMORROW OR UP AND RUNNING SUNDAY NIGHT WE WILL SEE!


Anything new you want included in new site drop me a comment!

Sabres Call Up Mancari

The Buffalo Sabres have announced that they have recalled Mark Mancari from Portland. Mancari is on fire and is the AHL's 2nd leading scorer. Great young talent.


Komisarek Out About 1 Month


Breaking news!!! Nylander trade to Chicago imminent!

According to the Suntimes and the Fourth Period, the Washington Capitals will soon trade (likely Friday) centre Michael Nylander in exchange for forward/defenseman Dustin Byfuglien and veteran Brent Sopel.

Sopel and Byfuglien were late minute healthy scratches for tonight's game against the Stars. As for Nylander he had to play because the Caps were short on bodies, because of multiple injuries.

Nylander's cap hit is $4.875 million, as for Byfuglien it's $3 million per year and Sopel it's $2.5 million per season.

Nylander still has a house in Chicago; therefore, he is expected to lift his no-trade clause to move there.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Lightning Reclaim Koci

After placing David Koci on waivers and losing him to the St-Louis Blues just over a week or so ago the Lightning have just Re-Claimed him.

Nylander To Hawks?

Numerous media outlets are reporting that the Hawks have a deal in place to acquire Michael Nylander from the Washington Capitals. Couple issues here:

1. Nylander has a No-Trade

2. Hawks don't have enough cap room with Khabibulin there.

Bob Mckenzie reported a couple teams in need of goaltenders:

New Jersey
Perhaps Dallas or Columbus

We shall see.

Habs need to find a power play specialist

I guess a lot of fans in Montreal now miss Mark Streit after his departure via free agency to Long Island.

Montreal had last year’s number one power play in the NHL, but they are now sitting 26th with a poor 14.6% success rate, while the Islanders power play has improved slightly from 29th to 25th overall. Streit has 12 points (he would be the Habs' 5th scorer) in 18 games, with only six of them coming with the man advantage.

Many thought Streit would struggle as a full-time defenseman, but he’s only minus-2 on a very ordinary islanders team. Streit has logged the ninth most ice time in the NHL with an average of 25:53 each game, including over six minutes on the power play.

Meanwhile, Ryan O'Byrne and Patrice Brisebois, who play with Roman Hamrlik, Streit's former partner on defense, have a combined 1 goal and 4 assists in 27 games this season...

Streit was the shooter on a very effective 1st unit last season along with Markov, Kovalev, Plekanec and A. Kostitsyn. This season, newly-acquired Alex Tanguay is also manning the point with Andrei Markov.

The latter was asked to be the shooter without great success, Markov being more of a passer than a shooter, as shown by his 1 goal and 13 assists in 17 games this season. As a result, the Habs have became very predictable on the power play, and the defensive team is putting much more pressure on Koivu (0 goal on the PP) and Kovalev (1 goal on the PP).

Guy Carbonneau has yet to adjust his strategy and the problem is more and more evident recently as the Canadiens have lost 4 of their last 5 games.

Will Carbonneau change his strategy or will Bob Gainey pull the trigger and acquire a power play specialist with a hard shot (Philippe Boucher anyone)?

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures...

vermette The struggling Senators host the slumping Canadiens in Ottawa tonight, both teams looking to rebound from their respective downturns.

Montreal is 'Canadian-dollar bad', tumbling drastically from last year's impressive highs but not yet at critical mass. The core strengths of last year's team, including team speed, sharp passing and Alex Kovalev in particular have in large part disappeared, which has consequently had a similar effect on the Habs' fortunes to that which the drop of commodity prices has had on the Loonie. Guy Carbonneau has reacted to the situtation by shuffling the deck once again, hoping to find some chemistry and balance among his offensive lines.

Ottawa is 'Global-finances bad', falling further and further into the depths of a terrible depression with no end in sight following an extended period of inflated expectations without the necessary fundamentals (toughness/goaltending) to support them. Adding injury to insult, Mike Fisher and alex-kovalevChris Neil will both miss at least two weeks of action with knee injuries. In an effort to rescue/stimulate the sagging Sens, coach Craig Hartsburg will reunite the Spezza-Heatley-Alfredsson line while the players, for their part, have elected to grow mustaches.

My condolences go out to Jason Spezza's upper lip and the shame it is soon to know.

Vanek AGAIN/East Playoff Predictions

The Sabres are quickly going downhill, but Thomas Vanek is going up. Vanek scored another 2 goals in last night's loss to Boston, giving him a league-leading 15 goals. Keep it up Thomas.

The NHL season is about 1/4 of the way done, so here are my predictions based on what I've seen this season.


1. Boston(Tim Thomas is UNBELIEVABLE)

2. New York Rangers(Great mix of young, hard-nosed guys mixed with veteran leaders)

3. Washington(Semin and Ovechkin blow my mind. Green blows it even further)

4. Montreal(Great team, but, WAY too much hype for them to win the cup, Tanguay=perfect fit)

5. Pittsburgh(Staal, best two-way forward in NHL, plus 2 best centers in NHL)

6. Buffalo(Need Tim Connolly back, Rivet needs to be a presence again)

7. Carolina(Eric Staal will step it up)

8. Toronto(If Sundin signs, they will be in the playoffs, I gurantee it)

Next blog will be about predictions of Western teams

Tell me what you think; Agree, disagree, etc.


Kings Alternate Jersey

This photo clearly shows the prominence of silver in the sweater design, especially the new logo.

It's obvious the Kings had their Gretzky (and for that matter Melrose) days in mind when when putting this one together.

In the image to the right you get a close-up of the new crest. Silver is all over it, trimming the banner as well as the LA. You can even find some in the crown.

Surprisingly, the silver really helps to keep this jersey from looking boring. I think it would've looked very flat just in white. Wait until you see the Kings on the ice with all the bright arena lights reflecting off the silver. They're going to look good.

If you can't make it out well in the picture above, there's silver piping running the length of the sleeve from the collar to the wrist. It's broken up however by a broad white stripe that wraps around the elbow. That stripe is trimmed in silver. And the thin stripe at the base of the jersey appears to be silver as well.

Overall, I think the Kings really got one right. It looks nothing like what they're wearing now, but it totally looks like the L.A. Kings.

Photos and article courtesy of Icethetics

Coyotes 3rd Jersey

The Coyotes will be revealing their new 3rd jerseys during Saturday's television broadcast of the Coyotes @ Flyers game. The game will be broadcast on AZ-TV and starts at 5:30 p.m. MST / 4:30 p.m. PST / 7:30 p.m. EST. The jersey will be revealed during the first intermission. The Coyotes will be wearing their new 3rd jerseys for the first time at Arena in Glendale at the game against the Colorado Avalanche on 11/28/2008.

The jersey is rumored to look something like this:

In Case I Have Been Missed...Not

My apologies first to Scotty and the rest of the Hockeybums crew as well as the several readers. Due to a rather busy personal schedule I have been unable to contribute much to the site so far this season. With that said I have followed the Canucks quite closely and will hopefully be able to contribute a 20-game report in the coming days. So far this season the Canucks have been impressive at moments while being rather mind-boggling at others.

Needless to say the season has gone better than many had originally thought (including yours truly) as evidence of tonights' 6-3 defeat of the Eastern Conference leading Rangers coming on the eve of Thursdays tilt against the Minnesota Wild. A battle that will determine the division lead at the quarter pull.

Not bad for a team that many had written off not only 8 weeks ago.

Talk to you soon...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Habs Still In Sundin Chase?

According to Corus Sports Montreal Canadiens GM Bob Gainey was in LA watching Centerman Mats Sundin train. No word on whether he was jsut curious or their is serious interest still. The way the habs are playing theyd welcome him im sure.

We will see.

The Vancouver Model

Months of uncertainty and speculation are likely to come to an end in the next week when Brian Burke and his associates meet with Richard Peddie and the MLSE. The groups have already spoken albeit lawyer to lawyer last weekend to confirm the Anaheim Ducks had signed papers allowing their former GM to talk with other teams and if reports are to be believed, groundwork was laid on the forthcoming negotiations.

With conjecture and rumor placing Burke in a potential cavalcade of locales in the week after his resignation, the reality is that, foregoing disastrous contractual talks, the Toronto Maple Leafs will name Brian Burke the organizations 13th general manager in its storied history with few other suitors looking to materialize at the eleventh hour. The move will be seen as a particular success for Peddie and sports lawyer Gord Kirke who have courted Burke from the moment they drew up a bullet point list of candidates and criteria early this year.

For Burke it will offer a chance to return to a hockey hotbed after three years in the sunbelt and an opportunity to combine his differing experiences in Vancouver and Anaheim with a side perennially teetering between media expectation and failure. Whilst Cliff Fletcher has done the best he could under the moniker of interim GM, development has been stunted and the popular veteran knew that he was merely laying a Schenn shaped biscuit base unto which the blue and white cheesecake would be built.

Burke will herald a much needed change of pace and common logic dictates that the incoming GM will be looking to put an early and indelible stamp on the Leafs be it waiving a high salary star such as the recently scratched Jason Blake, or trading big to secure a high level draft pick as he did in Hartford for Pronger. Whatever it may be, Burke could be seen as an accelerant to the rebuilding process the Leafs are undeniably facing after the era of stagnation seen under John Ferguson and with a modus operandi for rapid transition Burke is unlikely to wait it out in the Air Canada executive boxes.


With Burke’s arrival seen as an inevitability; many have decided to take the pre-incumbents period of grace as a chance to autopsy his past accomplishments to see what acumen the executive will bring to Toronto. Unavoidably most have chosen to draw comparisons between his most recent position in California and the dynamics of the Leafs organization he is about to inherit. Taking over the reigns of a Bryan Murray team steered for one season by Al Coates, Burke acquired control of Anaheim in 2005 fresh from the board room fallout in Vancouver. Securing a Stanley cup in just two seasons, Burke adopted a side that had drafted well under Murray and had built under its previous executives. Burke merely anchored the potential with Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer making minimal changes to an already winning formula.


Obviously the 2008 Maple Leafs are a different proposition to the 2005 Ducks. Half gutted in a stage of pre-rebuild and a roster so thin it would snap in the breeze, the Leafs don’t share the kind of prospects ladder Anaheim took into the lockout and don’t possess the brother of a blue chip defensemen, unless you consider Frantisek Kaberle a franchise blueliner.

With many subsequently looking to the successes and failures of the Anaheim franchise he left behind as a barometer for his suitability, it seems more likely that Burke will draw upon his four years in Vancouver as a starting point with the Maple Leafs physically small, short in depth and overtly European roster. Obtaining a Canucks side that had peaked and troughed under a decade of Pat Quinn, Brian Burke took charge of a Vancouver side that had finished dead last in the Pacific Division in '97-'98. With top scorer Pavel Bure refusing to play in Vancouver, Burke shipped the Russian megastar to Florida for franchise D-man Ed Jovanovski. With next to no offense Vancouver finished with the second worse record in the league but also the second overall draft pick. With twins Henrik and Daniel Sedin expected to be split for the first time in their careers on draft day, Burke rolled the dice to secure the third overall selection and both twins with a trade that saw Bryan McCabe and Vancouver's 2000 first round draft pick go to Chicago. With the Sedin's still gaining experience in the Swedish senior leagues in '99-'00 Vancouver punched above low expectations to just miss out on a playoff berth. Regardless with Burke getting the puzzle pieces in place early, the next three seasons saw Vancouver up their points tally from 83-90-94-104 before slipping to a still princely 101 points in Burke’s final year in charge.


Relying on unfashionable players to put up career points year in year out, Burke built on an early draft move to push the Canucks from bottom feeders to an elite unit that just lacked the quality required come the post season. Where he was shackled by the off ice salesmanship required to fill the General Motors Place, the guaranteed Air Canada sellouts will grant Burke the opportunity to tune the hockey formula that served so well in Vancouver. Furthermore with a fondness for physically strong and aggressive forwards Burke will find common ground in the west coast playing system currently favored by head coach Ron Wilson geared into a squad that currently lacks the prototypical Burke style players that could take the Leafs run and gun methodology to another level.


Subsequently when you take the Vancouver model into the context of the contemporary Leafs, the recruitment of Burke makes a lot of sense albeit with the idiosyncrasies common only to Toronto. Currently wavering in and about the fringes of a playoff place, Burke will be aware that finishing ninth in the Eastern Conference will only harm Toronto’s future on draft day. Expect Burke to fire sell players who do not fit into his long term plans early, fundamentally weakening the team for 2008-’09 with the goal of attaining a top two pick in the Tavares-Hedman draft. Don’t be surprised if Burke attempts to ship a big name for a first round draft pick, even if the trade bait is somewhat more scant in the 2008 Leafs than it was in the 1999 Canucks. Finally expect Burke to trade for west coast board runners and grinders and a full time enforcer in the George Parros mould, Mayers and Hollweg will not suffice on a Burke team that with little trade leverage are going to have to build from youth and development.


Burke’s era is upon us and, despite the naysayers, is a man with experience in rapid and successful rebuilds, you just have to look past Anaheim to see that he has succeeded before. Many may argue that the clash of personalities and the obstructive hand of Peddie could be a powder-keg in the years to come; but here and now Burke is the best man for the job.               

Tough to Watch...

overheadPlayers struggling through a stretch of games like that being experienced by the Canadiens right now generally repeat one thing through all of their interviews--"It's not fun."

I couldn't help but think of this line as I brought myself to write this amidst my workday... as busy and mundane as my typical workday can be, it doesn't suck as much as thinking of the Canadiens' play of late.

This blog was supposed to be a fun diversion. Yes, there was to be a fair amount of work involved, but it was new, interesting and full of possibility. Rather, I am at a point where it has become painful to watch the team, let alone write about their performances. Likewise, the Canadiens have seen what was supposed to be a phenomenal season, ripe with celebrations and expectations, turn absolutely sour.

If 'coming to the rink' every day isn't much fun for me right now, I can only imagine how much the 23-man roster representing Montreal must be enjoying themselves...

But maybe that's just what they need... and I don't mean a 'wake-up call' or a reminder that skill won't get them anywhere without the effort backing it. These guys are professionals, and should need no such prompt to get their asses in gear.

What I mean to say is maybe these guys need to stop enjoying themselves so much. I would even hazard to say that they need somebody to blow up. This team needs to hate losing, and I mean HATE it, like Kevin Lowe hates Brian Burke.

I don't believe there's any need to panic just yet and no need to shake things up via trade or other roster changes. All that's needed is for this foul funk to permeate and linger just long enough... right up until the point that somebody, or everybody, erupts.

The common excuse that guys are beginning to grip their sticks too tightly isn't nearly enough... I want to see a few guys snapping sticks and slamming them against the walls in frustration... I want to see some emotion.


I won't go so far as to say that losing is a good thing... getting your ass handed to you over and over again is never good for confidence... but somewhere along the way, confidence will no longer matter as the distaste of losing will consume this group, stoke their competitive fires, and get an undeniably talented team back on track.

All it takes is a shared vision or, in this case, a shared hatred.

Sabres 3rd Debut/Tkachuk hit......

The Buffalo Sabres have announced that they will be wearing their new third jerseys on November 26th. I must say, as a Sabres fan, I freaking love these jerseys. These jerseys will most likely be worn as the Sabres MAIN jersey during the 40th anniversary in the 2010-2011, as stated by Larry Quinn himself.
Brings back wonderful memories.......

Tell me your thoughts on the jersey

Timmy C. will not play tonight due to Keith Tkachuk's massive hit.TIP: Connolly, KEEP YOUR HEAD UP!!!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Claude Lemieux with China Sharks

As per Simon Currie:

Claude Lemieux, who had been working out in Arizona to prepare for an NHL comeback attempt, was somehow convinced to play hockey in Asia with the China Sharks. The move happened quickly and he has already suited up for the Chinese team against Anyang Halla in the Asia League games this past weekend and recorded his first point with an assist in the Sunday game.

Looks like Lemieux's dream comeback turtled and went to China.

Kings Rumors

The Kings are trying to move goaltender Jason Labarbera and center Derek Armstrong. Labarbera is a solid backup and Armstrong is a character player that brings alot personality and emotion.

Rumors from around the league

- The Ottawa Senators are after a puck-moving defenseman as we all know, the following rumors are swirling around:
Mathhias Ohlund (he has a no-trade clause) for Antoine Vermette
Jordan Leopold and Tyler Arnason for Antoine Vermette and Chris Neil

- Marian Gaborik is more than ever on the trading block according to various sources. The Rangers, the Senators and the Canadiens are rumored to be interested.

- Brendan Shanahan is down to 4 teams. Washington, New Jersey, Boston and Philadelphia.

Rumor: Max Gone at Deadline, Want a Center/D-man in Return

Breaking rumor for Sabres fans: Maxim Afinogenov may be gone by/at the Trade Deadline.
Eastern Teams In The Running(Check out my earlier post for the list of western conference teams)
Washington is the leader to land Max Afinogenov at this point and it seems that it's only Western Conference teams and the Capitals to land him.

Washington: Michael Nylander, Jeff Schultz, Milan Jurcina

That's what I've been hearing but if I hear more, I'll keep you updated


Foreword -- Stormy Weather...

wardo Montreal brings their road-show to Carolina tonight, icing the exact line-up that struggled to keep pace with the injury-riddled St-Louis Blues on Sunday...

Carolina has lost 3 of their last 4, with Eric Staal (whose quasi-justified 7-wardo2year, $8.25M/year  contract extension was just recently out-crazied by the Avalanche signing Paul Stastny to a 5-year deal worth $6.6M/year... straight out of his entry-level deal) putting up just NO goals and just 1 assist in his last 7 games.

Eric must be looking forward to playing Montreal however, with 8 goals and 8 assists in his last 12 games against the Habs, putting together a strong case as heir-apparent to Erik Cole's 'Canadiens-killer' throne. No matter how poorly things may be going for the 'Canes, no matter how desperately against the wall their backs may be, they seemingly always find a way to work their way past the Canadiens.

If Luke Decock's intuition is right, failure to pull one out against the Habs tonight may be a nail in the coffin of coach Laviolette's suddenly precarious tenure behind the bench in Carolina.

The Canadiens will look to avoid playing a prolonged game of 'Where's Wardo?' by putting some pucks on net in the first ten minutes of play (a feat they have not accomplished in their last few outings), and may look to an unlikely source for some offensive output tonight... Josh Gorges, goalless as a Hab in 97 games now, was provided a stick-sacrificing ritual courtesy of Carey Price, who shredded and scattered the bits of Gorges's stick around the RBC Centre to help break the curse that has kept him off the scoresheet.


Finally, in today's installment of "All is Right with the World", Sergei Samsonov has 0 goals and 3 assists in 18 games and stands at minus-10, allowing Hurricane fans to feel our pain... only they now have him under contract until 2010-11. He is pictured above in his favourite position--the perimeter.

Crombeen claimed off waivers by Blues

According to the Dallas Morning News, the Blues have claimed forward B. J. Crombeen off waivers from the Stars. Crombeen, who has 5 points in 15 games, was put on waivers yesterday by the Stars.

In other news, Darren McCarthy has been waived by the Red Wings.

Bears playing hockey

Check this video of real bears playing hockey:

Bears are very skilled and intelligent animals. They should teach a few tricks how to shoot the puck to Sergei Samsonov who has 0 goal this season.

Pisani out 6-8 weeks with a broken ankle

Oilers forward Fernando Pisani will miss six-eight weeks with a broken ankle.
Pisani broke his ankle when battling the Red Wings Nicklas Lidstrom for the puck in the third period on Monday. The hard-luck Pisani missed the first two months last season with ulcerative colitis.

Pisani had 6 points in 16 games this season.

Bryan Berard signs in Russia

According to a Russian newspaper, former Islander Bryan Berard signed a one-year contract with Vityaz Chekhov near Moscow.

The Ottawa Senators, 1st overall choice in 1995, was invited to the Flyers training camp on a try-out basis but had to be let go because of cap restrictions. In 619 NHL games, Berard, a power-play specialist, has 323 points.

I'm suprised Berard couldn't find a job in today's goal-starving NHL.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Afterword -- A Near-Disastrous Weekend...

Halak Montreal was coming off their worst performance of the season in Boston, and was heading into a gut-check weekend with back-to-back match-ups against Philadelphia on Saturday and St-Louis less than 24 hours later.

I was coming off a busy week at work and had planned a nice weekend with my girlfriend to celebrate her birthday, not knowing we'd wind up checking our own guts... as things turned out, it was to be a near-disastrous weekend for us as well as for the Canadiens.

Saturday morning came upon us in our suite at the Bed & Breakfast I had booked, though my girlfriend was not feeling up to par and passed on the breakfast that I was hoping would justify the cost of the room. The day had been set aside for leisurely shopping, though we would visit just one store before Jade gave in to the nausea she'd been experiencing all morning.

Just blocks away from our room, I was given urgent warning to pull over and so I did, stopping just in time to witness Jade vomit downstream (thanks to steady rain and a steep incline near Mount-Royal).

We followed by heading directly to our room, where Jade tried to sleep off her sudden illness and I wrote up my game preview for the Flyers game. True to form, she decided to tough it out and make an appearance at the Irish Embassy, where friends and family were to meet up with us to watch the game.

The Canadiens were playing respectable (if uninspired) hockey through 20 scoreless minutes of play and our company was beginning to loosen up when, nearing the end of the 1st intermission, I suddenly felt a tinge in my stomach. I mentioned to Jade that I wasn't feeling well and motioned towards the bathroom, instantly feeling disoriented. By the time I reached the stairs, I was dizzy and out of breath.

Next thing I knew, I was being picked up off the bottom of the stairs, lifted out of a puddle of my own puke. The bouncer was telling me he had already checked my ribs in case any were broken during my tumble down the flight of stairs, which was apparently overheard by the bar staff. I tried to regain composure, washing myself off in the bathroom, only to be consumed once again with the illness that ravaged me for the remainder of the evening.

Between spells of vomiting, I could overhear the displeasure of the fans at the Irish Embassy, disgusted with the performance of their team. Making my way back to our room in time for the 3rd period, I could overhear on the TV in the other room that they had fallen down 2-0 and were showing few signs of life.

The Habs did very little to appease my condition and, upon watching the seconds tick down on yet another discouraging outing, I was incited to unleash one final torrent of vomit into my trusty garbage can (apologies to the housekeepers).


Still feverish and bruised from head to toe, I watched the Canadiens slip out of St-Louis with a much-needed but far from convincing victory.

The weekend could have been worse, though I'm sure we all wish it would have been much better... well, less nauseating and far less painful, to say the least.

Finally, an enormous thanks to the wonderful staff at the Irish Irish Embassy Embassy for their genuine concern and selfless assistance through a scary experience. Your help and hospitality were immeasurably appreciated!

Paul Stastny signed to a 5-year extension

As per a team release:
DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that it has signed 22-year-old center Paul Stastny to a five-year contract extension beginning with the 2009-2010 season. The deal is worth $6.6M per year.

“Paul has clearly established himself as one of the bright young stars emerging in our game today,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President & General Manager Francois Giguere. “At a young age, he’s demonstrated tremendous skill, vision and composure on the ice and is recognized as one of the most complete players in our league. “We’re pleased that Paul will remain with the Colorado Avalanche franchise long-term. This is another sign of our ownership’s commitment to winning.”

Great move by the Avalanche to lock their #1 centre to a long term contract, especially with Sakic's retirement looming.

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